152: Human Presence

So for our task 2, we were given the topic of human presence…but in the unusual way. We were required to look at how we could depict human presence without actually having a human present. At first, this seemed like a very simple idea that could be carried out very simply.
Yet, after putting some thought into it, I wanted to move myself away from what would seem to be the “typical” ideas that would be presented (such as possessions; slight traces on clothes, chairs etc) as well as the fact that we had to use experimental processes as well.

So I decided to go down the road of looking at abandoned buildings; this idea came to me when I was looking on facebook when a page came up called “Creepiest Abandoned Places on Earth.” As soon as I saw these images I was hooked as there was this air surrounding the pictures that made them so creepy. Just to imagine that these places used to be filled with humans walking around was just imaginable with how they looked how.

So to start off my research, I wanted to look at photographers who had taken pictures that had a similar feel to the facebook page. So the first person I looked at was Absis Minas. in his work, his pictures tend to focus on the aesthetic feeling from the picture (something that I got from the facebook page,) But another aspect from his work was that his pictures seemed to be devoid of any humans at all.

Screen Shot 2014-03-03 at 12.32.01

And if you paid close attention to these pictures, you would begin to realize that actually these places should be filled with people; the picture above is of a parking lot. So you would typically expect to see multiple cars in the area, yet there’s nothing. So it begins to make you wonder a few things: Were these pictures taken at a specific time where there would be nobody there? Was it actually abandoned?
Minas never actually states when he took the photos, but he says the project was based on two fronts, with the first being a focus on people and then focusing on a lack of people. So this is interesting for him to show a comparison between times with people.

So this made me wonder for my own pictures: If I was to be looking at abandoned places, should I take a shot of the building itself? Or should I actually get more involved and go into the rooms where people used to be, to look for those traces of humans?
I think the most interesting would be to actually get into the rooms, as I feel that it would give the more interesting images for me to use, especially when it comes down to the experimental processes as well.

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